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O-Zone: Salty tongue

Posted Jul 12, 2013

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .

Brian from Atlanta, GA:
I read that Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Cecil Shorts III, Mike Brown and Jordan Shipley are working out at the Larry Fitzgerald camp. I've heard of and seen the results it has had on wide receivers, and I like that the two guys most likely to start went up to continue working.
John: I assume you’re referencing Gabbert and Shorts. Yes, it’s always good when players put in extra work in productive offseason environments. I’m not going to go head-over-heels talking about how much a week or two at the Fitzgerald camp will help these players. It indeed will probably help incrementally. What is a more positive sign is that the five players are dedicated and serious enough about the process to give up a good chunk of their July time off. That certainly is indication their heads are in the right place.
Seth from Kalamazoo, MI:
John, what would you do if Shad took your red stapler and made you move your office to the basement?
John: Shad Khan is my boss. I’d think, “Wow, this guy Shad Khan is a great person. I admire him.” I’d also think, “Wow, this guy must be a heck of an engineer if he’s building basements in Florida.” I’d also think, “Wow, this guy Shad Khan is a great person. I admire him.”
Donald from Section 121:
Russell Allen recorded 131 tackles, 107 solo and six passes defensed last season. I say he played his side of the field pretty well, but he seems to be given the No. 4 linebacker label by many. What am I not seeing? Not for nothing, he had a fumble recovery and split a wishbone down the middle.
John: Allen indeed receives that label, and he’s well aware of it. He also said recently that he understands why people see him that way: he originally made the team as an undrafted free agent, and partly because of that, figures he probably always will be seen as a guy fighting to make a roster. He said he always takes that approach anyway, so it doesn’t bother him. Allen is the kind of player you need on your team. He does a lot of different things, and does them well – if not necessarily at a Pro Bowl level. The guess here is he’ll play a lot this season and make plays whether he’s the No. 3 or 4 linebacker.
Dude from Jacksonville:
You're funnier than Letterman and that Scottish Weirdo combined, but not quite as funny as Leno.
John: There is nothing funny about the Leo. It is a position designed to help improve the pass rush, something that’s critical to the success and improvement of the defense. The Jaguars for years have struggled to produce a pass rush, and the Leo . . . Oh.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
With training camp coming up and jobs on the line, tempers seem to be at a peak. How often if ever did fights erupt during your time in Indy?
John: Rarely, if ever. Tony Dungy considered training camp fights a waste of valuable time and told players he didn’t want to see them. In the seven years I covered the team with him as head coach, I believe I recall one. He made it clear it wasn’t something that was done and I don’t recall it happening again.
Sam from St. Augustine, FL:
So back-to-back weeks out in Cali, huh? Does that mean one Johnny-O is gonna have a mini vacay? Or is the wifey snatching that away?
John: I don’t know what you’ve heard about how I handle my affairs, but if I want to take a mini vacation, I’m darned well taking it. Wifey does not, never has and will not ever . . . (hold on, I have to go.)
Jerry from Tamarac:
I'm so sick of hearing "what can the NFL do to..." followed by people that broke laws. What do you think they can do? They're not the police. They're not the military. It is an organization whose main concern is to make money and provide entertainment. It is up to the people that play the game or the people that don't play the game to follow the laws. Unfortunately, there are good people and bad people and that goes whether you carry a pigskin or not.
John: True, but we also live in a politically correct society in which people want to generalize and look for broad-brush, easy-to-digest answers as compared to understanding reality. People look at an NFL player arrested and often see “NFL” more than they see the individual player. People get in trouble. People do stupid things. People do mean things. People do illegal things. This is true of some NFL players, and it’s true of some people of all backgrounds.
Adrian from Reading, UK:
Can you shed any light on the rumors that Shad Khan is planning to move Fulham FC to Jacksonville?
John: And away we go . . .
Josh from Neptune Beach, FL:
With Tyson Alualu moving to defensive end, how do you expect that to effect his playing time?
John: I expect he’ll start and play extensively on base and run downs. I expect he could get some time at tackle in passing situations.
Dave from Jacksonville and Section 235:
I'll admit I have never been a fan of the first-down cheer. I'm good with our fans making ANY kind of noise, but "move those chains" just wasn't for me. Moodachay, however is a TOTALLY different story. That is a cheer I can get behind all the way! I propose we start a movement to change it. It sounds like some kind of a voodoo chant and opposing fans won't be able to mock it; they'll be too busy trying to figure out what the heck we’re saying. Moodachay!!
John: #Moodachay
Trevor from Jacksonville:
Why is it every time the national media talks about good players on the Jaguars’ roster (which is rare), Cecil Shorts III is never mentioned? Not even as someone with future potential. It seems the only players they know of are Blackmon, Joeckel, and MJD. More importantly, why do I continue to care what the media has to say?
John: Shorts actually has gotten quite a bit of mention among national media types this offseason, particularly for a guy without a 1,000-yard season whose team has won seven games in two seasons. If Shorts plays at a high level, he will get mentioned more. As for why you care, you’re a fan, Trevor. The national media’s view doesn’t matter. It is as meaningless as my 40-time. But fans care. It’s not necessary. It doesn’t change anything. But they do care. They just do.
Paul from Jackso-Moodachay:
When I find myself in times of trouble, and I don't know what to say, I think of words of wisdom, Moodachay! And in my hour of darkness, she is shining as a hopeful ray, speaking words of wisdom, Moodachay! Moodachay, moodachay, moodachay, moodachay...chanting words of wisdom, Moodachay! (Apologies to John Lennon, et al.)
John: You’re apologizing to the wrong person. Paul McCartney wrote “Let it Be,” But you do owe him an apology.
Alan from Jacksonville:
I kid you not. Here's the EA Sports website that has Denard on the cover. A curious pick to be sure. http://www.easports.com/ncaa-football
John: Actually, Alan, there was nothing curious about Robinson on the cover. He was a dynamic, popular player at a very popular program. What was curious was the idea of Head Coach Bradley drawing ideas for the Jaguars’ offense from the EA Sports cover. Or maybe that was just curious to me.
Kahmunrah from Egypt:
What are you?
John: Panicked. Oh, and late.
Jo from Jacksonville:
I was just wondering with all the overrated/underrated players that the NFL Network is discussing would you put Fred Taylor on the list of underrated players?
John: If he’s not rated highly I sure would.
John from Section 105:
It seems when you first started, you might have looked at the O-Zone as more of an obligation you had to perform because the other guy had the “Ask Vic” column. Since you've been here though, I have to say, you have certainly made it your own. I love reading the O-Zone every day. Thank you very much for all you do for us fans. If I had shaggy hair and a big mustache, I'd give you a raise.
John: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I spend about 20 minutes on the O-Zone when I wake up bright and early at 11:10 a.m., then meet Shadrick and Shad at Tinseltown for the early matinee.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I understand incoming rookies receive a stipend during OTAs, etc. until they sign their new contract. But once they sign the contract, do they immediately start receiving their money?
John: Players receive a signing bonus upon signing their contract. They receive weekly paychecks once the regular season begins.
Gary from Broken Arrow, OK:
And as the salty old coach finished his halftime rant to his team, he yelled "Now get out there and MOODACHAY!"
John: (sniff)

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